The Biden administration has some explaining to do about a senior Pentagon official’s alleged ties to the Iranian regime. Members of Congress are demanding answers about how someone who had frequent contact with Iranian officials ended up in a sensitive position within the Department of Defense. This is simply unacceptable.
Guess How the Biden Admin Responded to Senators Demanding Answers About Pentagon Official's Ties to Iran https://t.co/PzTEiOlhfM
— Spencer Brown (@itsSpencerBrown) October 6, 2023
According to reports, Ariane Tabatabai, the chief of staff to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, worked with an Iranian program to influence opinion in Tehran’s favor. This is deeply concerning, especially considering Iran’s continued threats towards the United States.
A group of over thirty senators sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding answers. They rightly called this situation “unconscionable” and demanded an explanation for why a senior Pentagon official with alleged ties to the Iranian government would still hold such a sensitive position.
The senators outlined what is currently known about Tabatabai’s ties to Iran, and it paints a troubling picture. She was part of an Iran Experts Initiative that aimed to bolster Iran’s image and positions on global security issues, including their nuclear program. The report also indicates that Tabatabai sought the Iranian government’s input on a congressional briefing she was invited to give. This is simply unacceptable.
Concerns about Tabatabai are not new, but the Biden administration dismissed these allegations as “smears and slander.” However, the recently reported allegations suggest that Tabatabai’s ties to the Iranian regime may go even deeper than previously thought. The fact that the Department of Defense has rushed to defend her instead of prioritizing national security is deeply concerning.
Iran poses a serious threat to the United States and our military personnel. It is outrageous that a senior Department official with alleged ties to an Iranian government information operation would still hold a sensitive position. The senators have called for Tabatabai’s security clearance to be suspended pending further review, and this should be done immediately.
It’s clear that more needs to be done to uncover the full extent of this situation. The senators have requested answers to several important questions about Tabatabai’s background and security clearance. The Biden Department of Defense has already ignored similar inquiries from lawmakers in the House of Representatives, and it is time for them to be held accountable.
The American people deserve transparency and accountability from their government. It’s time for Secretary Austin and the Department of Defense to provide the necessary answers so that appropriate oversight can be carried out. The Biden administration’s apparent attempts to hide information or cover up this issue only further fuels suspicions of wrongdoing. This cannot be ignored.